Pruning the tree helps it develop stronger

Last weekend I wrote about my history from the beginning and how I went from my first champion to Dragoon and Savannah.   The tree, however, did not grow in  totally straight. There were many twists, turns  and some branches needed to be pruned off in order to develop a healthy line of dogs

So going back to the third generation, I had a nice girl named Abbey (Yasashiikuma Cinnamon Heart) that was the source of another branch of the family tree.

Abbey was bred twice to Hunter.   

judodkcThe first litter, born on the first night of Hannukah, was my Hannukah litter.   In this litter were two puppies I allowed friends to co-own, paying nothing for them.   Judith, pictured above, and Mike.  Unfortunately the co-owners of Judith divorced, and the husband decided he wanted her (out of spite) and I lost her in a court battle, getting paid less than I had expended on show entries and handling.  Apparently later he met a new girlfriend who didn’t like the dog and left her with his ex-wife, of course now spayed.   Mike’s co-owner took him to Ireland, and then dumped him.  Thankfully I did hear where he ended up and I was informed when he passed on a short while ago

The repeat of the litter, a year later was the Spice Litter.


Megan was a pretty girl with a lot of very nice attributes.   The youngest in a houseful of adult dogs she believed she was the princess until the arrival of her half-sister Gale a few months later.   Megan had a very short and satisfying road to her championship.  When I had asked others if there would be competition at the Orangeville show, I was told, “Oh no, the judges suck.  But we will be entering the Credit Valley show the next weekend”.  So I decided to enter Megan just for the ring practice, after all entries were only $9 a day back then!  To my surprise there were 8 other class dogs and bitches entered, and by going Best of Winners all three days she was at 9 points.  Only one point from her championship!  The next weekend, all that was entered was one special.  I thought it impossible, but we beat the special for the last point and Megan finished her championship!

Megan had a litter in 2003 sired by Am/Cdn Ch Phi-Vestavia Uriel of Careleon.   Sabra was from my “Liqueur Litter” and finished quite quickly.  She was a substantial bitch, with a pretty head, but needed a better front, and to be lower stationed.   

Sabra died suddenly while I was at a conference.   Not knowing what had killed her I had an autopsy done at Guelph, and learned more than I wanted to know about Chylothorax.  Sabra had one litter sired by Harry Potter and the girl I kept from that was Jaime, Yasashiikuma Cerydwen Sorceres.  (Yes, one S due to space limitations).

Jaime was a very pretty girl, and I had great hopes for her.   She had passed all her health clearancs with flying colours, I had plans to bred her, and then disaster struck.   In July 2009, Jaime also developed Chylothorax.  This time I knew the warning signs, and with great expense and a lot of praying, she came through it.  You can read about that time by clicking here.  Mother and daughter both having this was too much to ignore, so Jaime was spayed and that branch of the family tree was truncated  Happily, Jaime is in an absolutely wonderful pet home where they absolutely adore her and is doing well.

Megan’s second litter, born in 2004 was sired by Am/Cdn. Ch. McLea’s Admiral.   This was my Ice litter and the girl I kept was Cinder (CH. Yasashiikuma Fire and Ice)

Cinder was a very pretty girl with lovely movement, and finished quite quickly by 9 months old.   She had one litter for me – the Fire Crew born in 2008 and sired by Merrymoon Noblestar Jacob.   From this breeding there were two very nice puppies who did very well.

Ch. Yasashiikuma Burning Issue (Chief) is owned by Norman Dale of BC and was shown to his championship by Norm’s daughter.   On the road to his championship she earned a Group 3 with him, and was Best of Winners at the Canadian National in 2010. Not too shabby for her first show dog!

And the girl that I kept was Ember, (Ch. Yasashiikuma Slow Burn) who finished in a single weekend at the London shows, even defeating Dolly for the breed one day!   There was so much that I loved about this girl and would have loved to have carried on with her.  Unfortunately her hips were not good enough for me to carry on with, so another branch of the tree was truncated, and Ember lives with her half brother in Chicago.

Megan did have one more litter, unplanned by me, sired by her 9 month old nephew Spud.   That was my “loose ladies” litter, and they were all placed in pet homes.

So, unfortuantely, although there were some very nice puppies produced by this branch of the family tree, unfortunately none of these lines have been perpetuated, and Chief is my only option to carry on with.

For the next installment, I will go into the detail on the other two branches of the tree – the legacies of Gale and Libby.



The Canadian National Specialty 2010

Five weeks after the American Nationals – the clan travelled west with Marlene Ness and Mark Ragusa to compete at the Canadian National Specialty in Edmonton. Once again, even though I couldn’t get the time to make the entire trip, I did manage to fly out Friday for the judging, getting home almost midnight on Sunday and going into work from a motel near the airport on Monday morning.

The Canadian National was judged this year by Diane Baillie – a Pembroke breeder/judge from Australia. Sweepstakes were judged by Dave Brunnel, a German Shepherd breeder from the west.

In Sweeps, all of the puppies won their classes, Amigo, Dragoon and Chaverah, but the only other dog entered won Best in Sweeps. Chaverah was the Best of Opposite in Sweeps (pictured here with the specialty judge who gave her 1st in her class).

Hunter was the winner of the Veteran Sweepstakes.

The specialty itself was a bit of a juggernaut for us, with dogs I own and dogs of my breeding bringing home everything but the bitch and unofficial classes.

Amigo (Yasashiikuma Friend of Mine) won the 6-9 month old class and brought home Reserve Winners Dog and Best Puppy, just like his mother, when she was Reserve Winners Bitch and Best Puppy in the Yukon in 2004.

Chief, Yasashiikuma Burning Issue, from the Fire litter (Sonny x Cinder) finished his Canadian Championship by going Best of Winners from the Open Dog class. I am very proud of his 11 year old owner/handler Eden Dale from B.C. who earned all of his points herself. Job very well done!! I think you could have knocked her over with a feather though when the judge pointed to her 🙂 I’m not sure if her feet have touched the ground for the past month.

Dolly achieved another milestone in her career – winning Best in Specialty and Best Canadian Bred. Another goal ticked off on the “to do” list. She is now a Best in Show and Best in Specialty winner, in addition to being the only Grand Champion Cardigan in Canada.

Although he made Mark work hard to earn it, Dragoon came home with Best of Opposite Sex in Specialty. He was unfortunately showing that he really is still a puppy, even though the body may appear grown up and wanted to goof around instead of showing. But to Mark’s credit he didn’t lower the boom on him, and kept his sparkle up, tough as it must have been!

The old man gave Dragoon a run for his money though. The judge said afterwards that she had actually considered him, but couldn’t give it to him because of his eyes (at 14 they are starting to cloud). He still gave a good account of himself and the judges I was mentoring at ringside were very impressed that a 14 year old could still keep up with the youngsters.

Since we were unable to get the judge for photos after the specialty (she judged Bouviers until 9:45 p.m.!!), and we weren’t sure if everyone would be around Sunday, we got this family portrait done just in case.

In the back row are:
Hunter – Best Veteran in Sweeps, Best Veteran in Specialty – with Annie Willaims.
Dolly – Best in Specialty, Best Canadian Bred – with Marlene Ness
Dragoon – Best of Opposite Sex in Specialy – with Mark Ragusa

and in front:
Amigo – Reserve Winners Dog, Best Puppy – with me
Chief – Best of Winners – with Eden

Eden and the Chief

One of the most frustrating things that seems to be happening lately is that the most important wins are being captured in the worst photos – Dolly’s BOW at the National, and her Best in Show for example. However, this was an amazing win for a new “team” and needs to be celebrated.

“Chief” Best of Winners – Judge: James Frederiksen (TN, USA)

Huge congratulations go out to Eden and her puppy Chief (Yasashiikuma Burning Issue) on their very successful performance at the Lower Mainland Dog Fanciers show in British Columbia. In an entry of 3 dogs and 7 class bitches and a special – they came in Reserve on Saturday, and won Best of Winners on Sunday – for a 3 POINT WIN!! Nothing like getting the “major” in style!

Thank you to Dayl and Yolanda, and all of the others who cheered them on. This was Eden’s first show handling and one I’m sure she’ll remember for a long time!